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FROM THIS EPISODE

Highly armed paramilitary units and SWAT teams are on the rise in American law enforcement - that’s according to a new study from the ACLU that claims these teams are increasingly being deployed in situations that don’t require military firepower like grenades and sniper rifles. The practice raises questions about where to draw the line between soldier and cop, and sometimes causes peaceful situations to spiral into violence, or even deaths. Is one person's militarization another's preparation?

Also, big news out of Brussels, and why we persist in believing in winning streaks when all the odds are against it.

Banner Image Credit: Jonathan McIntosh

Ukraine Signs EU Deal That Started the Crisis 6 MIN, 30 SEC

The European Union trade agreement that set the whole Ukraine Crisis in motion 7 months ago has now officially been signed. Heads of state met for a signing ceremony with the new Ukrainian President, Petro Poroshenko. In response, Kremlin officials have warned of “serious consequences.” How will this complicate the geo-political stand-off between Russia and Ukraine that’s dragged the US and EU into it? Judy Dempsey is Editor in chief of Strategic Europe, a blog by the Carnegie Endowment.

Guests:
Judy Dempsey, Strategic Europe (@Judy_Dempsey)

Cop or Soldier? Hard to Tell 34 MIN, 6 SEC

"War Comes Home": That’s what the ACLU called its report this week about the increasing militarization of police forces in the United States. According to the ACLU, SWAT-style raids are on the rise, even though they’re often unnecessary, and sometimes turn peaceful situations into violent ones. And these ultra-armed teams are often subsidized with grants from the Department of Homeland Security.

Guests:
Kara Dansky, American Civil Liberties Union's Center for Justice (@kdansky)
Radley Balko, Washington Post (@radleybalko)
Lt. Dan Marcou, PoliceOne (@PoliceOne)
Connor Boyack, The Libertas Institute (@cboyack)

Evolution and Hot Streaks in Sports 9 MIN, 39 SEC

The NBA Draft happened last night, and sport geeks say it was the richest in terms of talent in years. Talent matters of course, but sometimes a player can just get hot at the right time and ride that streak all the way to victory. A coach would say the winning streak is all about confidence, but some scientists take a different tack on this - they’re looking at why we believe in the hot hand in sports or gambling. Because they say it’s all random; one outcome does NOT predict future outcomes. Andreas Wilke is an Assistant Professor of Psychology at Clarkson University.

Guests:
Andreas Wilke, Clarkson University

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